As your kids get older, the times when you can gather all of them together grow few and far between. I don’t think of that as a bad thing. In fact, I’ve loved watching my kids grow into independent people and carve out their own places in this world. Of course, it also means I savor the moments when all of us can be together. This year, we’ve been a little spoiled. Katie, my eldest, got married, and her wedding was obviously such an occasion. In most years, however, the chief gathering time is the holidays. Even still, those are a little different this time around. John, the older of my two sons, is in the Army now. To make sure he didn’t spend Thanksgiving alone, I traveled to Texas, where he’s stationed, to visit him. For Christmas, though, I expect all four kids will be back at home, which will be a treat. It won’t just be them, though. There’s a new addition to the holiday gathering this year in the form of our new black Lab mix, Bella. We certainly didn’t plan for Bella’s arrival. It was more a matter of fate. Earlier this year, a black dog named Abby showed up at our property. The dog seemed content on staying, but we figured he’d head back home eventually. After a couple of days, we wondered if the dog had any owners at all. It took four days in total, but his owners finally got in touch with us. We returned him and figured that was that. While that dog didn’t return, a new one showed up not two weeks later, the day after Katie’s wedding. This time, we knew the drill. We posted information about the dog, who looked a lot like the original one, on social media and did our best to get the word out. Nobody came forward, so we took her to the vet to see if she had a chip. She didn’t, so we got her chipped, vaccinated, and named her Bella. (We were also advised to get Bella spayed, but decided to hold off on that. As I write this, Bella is in heat and staying in the garage so our one unexpected arrival doesn’t multiply into a lot more. Gotta love what happens when you procrastinate.) Now she is the new family dog and about to experience her first holiday season. BELLA’S FIRST HOLIDAY HOW A NEW DOG JOINED OUR LIVES
weekends ago, Jessica taught Bella how to fetch. Now, when the kids next door leave their shoes outside, Bella will dutifully bring them back to our doorstep expecting another game to commence. Thankfully, she doesn’t chew up the sneakers, and the kids are fast friends with Bella. Overall, it’s been smooth sailing, aside from the whole “in heat” thing. To be honest, I never could’ve guessed this year’s holiday photos would include Bella along with Dave and the kids, but sometimes you get a gift you weren’t planning for. I’m excited for everyone to meet Bella, but mostly, I’m excited to see them all together.
Happy holidays, everyone!
-Melissa Emery WWW.EMERYLAWOFFICE.COM | 1
While not everyone has had the chance to meet Bella yet, Jessica is already making a strong case to become Bella’s owner. When she was home a few
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